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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 5/15/2011 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I used to post here regularly but have not been on for a few years. Used a different name then.

I have had a fusion C5 C6 many years ago. A foraminotomy/laminectomy C6-C7-T1 5 years ago.

I can no longer work because of neck pain and neuropathy/radiculopathy in both arms and hands.

I take 3000mg gabapentin daily, it does not seem to work like it used to. Have the neuropathy all the time.

Have had a CT which shows osteophytes again. Am awaiting neurologist appointment and EMG as well as MRI.

For the last month my elbows have been extremely painful, hard to do alot of things, even shower.

Has anyone had elbow pain from their cervical spine issues? I didn't have this problem the last time.

Dr says it is probably referred pain from my neck.

I found a great heating pad today that shapes to your neck and shoulders, it is awesome!


Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 5/16/2011 8:49 AM (GMT -7)   
          Hello Sunflower!
                I just wanted to pop in and ask if they have check you out for "tendonitis" at the elbow?
     I too have DDD in the neck area, and also at the lumbar region, and suffer the same elbow pain. One thing that helped me, was to stick a pillow under each elbow as I sleep during the night. I took the pressure off of the pressure points, and I have since not suffered anymore pain in that area.
         Currently, I sleep with five pillows, 2 for the arms, two under my knees, 1 for my head. It might be worth getting the cortisone injection's in the elbow, to see if it helps.
         It's just a suggestion, and I was wondering if it hurts to extend you're arm out and pick up a glass of water off the table. Also it can be pain ful to shake a persons had with this condition.
      I did do the cortisone injection's, and it helped greatly, but the pain came back within three to six months, untill I started sleeping with the extra pillows.
          Give it a try! wink
      SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 5/16/2011 10:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the reply.

The pain starts on the inner elbow area, near the ulnar nerve. My Osteopath worked on it with little success.

Any extension of my arm makes it hurt, showering hurts, turning on taps, driving etc. Any pulling on my arms is really painful.

My arms hurt all over from the neuropathy and this is just making it feel worse.

I always wake up with horrible pain in my arms, will try the extra pillows. Years ago after the last surgery I tried a medication at bedtime that actually worked, no arm pain upon awaking (can't remember the name). Problem was it trashed my memory. I would turn on the oven and forget to go back to put the chicken in, would find it that way hours later.

I think tendonitis is more at the back of the elbow. I had tennis elbow many years ago and it was much different.

I will stop whining now. Thanks for listening.

I hope everyone has a low pain day.

Mine is starting out at a 5 so I have hopes.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 5/16/2011 11:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bonnie and welcome back!

Another of our moderators might have some suggestions too. I'll email WhiteBeard who's also had surgery for neck/shoulder pain and see if he has any suggestions.

Warm hugs,
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
Daily Donnybrook: Fibromyalgia, Insulin Dependent Diabetes. Ulcerative Colitis, Rare form of Dermatitis, Collapsed Disk, Osteoarthritis (especially in right hand and neck) and a couple of other adjunct agitations.
Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except the best.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15310
   Posted 5/17/2011 2:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bonnie and welcome back. What name did you go under when you were here at Healing Well before?

I am sorry that you are having such a time with this elbow pain. Are you sure its not the ulnar nerve causing some of this. Off hand I don't remember anyone ever complaining of elbow pain after cervical surgery. I injured my elbows in a fall and was offered ulnar nerve repositioning surgery on both arms. Back then, the outcome of this surgery was not so great from what I had seen in many of our clients, I opted not to have surgery. I still have a lot of problems and pain especially if I use my arms a lot.

When is your appt with the neuro and the EMG study scheduled? Please keep us posted on how you are coming along. Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3673
   Posted 5/17/2011 9:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sunflower7 I think your Doctor told you correctly, I know when I had my massive herniated disk at C-6/7 all my pain was in my arms from my elbows down to my fingers! Infact you know what it feels like when you hit your crazy bone ( elbow) really hard and it burns and smarts all the way down from your elbow to your finger tips? That is how I was for months and months until they found the herniated disk at C-6/7 my  pain at that time the pain was excruciating, and I had it in both arms! That was in 1985, then in 2009 I started having that same familiar arm pain but not near as bad, the cause was the disk above the fused one (C-5/6) I again had an ACDF and immediately after I got out of surgery and recovery the arm pain was gone. So yep I think your pain is probably from you neck. I am kind of surprised that they have you on just gabapentin, for your pain, as I don't think it will do much for nerve root compression pain!  You  definitely need to get this checked out ASAP. I definitely can empathize with you Sunflower7! I have experienced this type of pain and it is not fun at all! Just keep aware of all your symptoms and pain levels and if you notice any major changes or if the pain  gets to bad seek medical attention immediately! 
I do wish you well and if I can be of any help please let me know. 
Good Luck to You!
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 5/17/2011 4:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your responses.

Helps to know someone else has had this issue too.

I cannot take any painkillers as I have adverse reactions to all of the opiate derived meds I have tried. Seizures, migraines,extreme nausea etc, etc. Not tolerable at all.

I really am wanting to avoid more surgery. My neurosurgeon that did the last one over 5 years ago told me the next surgery would involve a couple of artificial discs, plates and screws. He had predicted 3-5 years for needing this done.

Don't know what I will do for pain relief, it was a nightmare last time.
The only thing I could take is hydromorphone, it causes extreme itchiness under the skin, but even that is more acceptable than the pain after a surgery.

The doctor has suggested trying methadone to see if I react badly to it. I think it may be worth a try at this point.

I have an MRI now scheduled for June 20 and EMG for July 19.


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 5/17/2011 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   

C6-7 can give you that elbow/ring finger and pinkie pain as also can cubital tunnel syndrome. Also know as Ulnar Nerve Entrapment. In my case I had both the neck and the elbow issues, so it is hard to decide which was causing the majority of the pain on any given day.

I ended up falling and popping the C5-6, that was allready herniated, way out of wack. I lost most of the use of my arm within 48 hours and had a burn that went straight up the side of my head. It needed to be fixed immedietely. The day after surgery the pain was gone and I got most of my strength back.

I just had Ulnar Nerve Transposition surgery 3 weeks ago for the remaining elbow/hand pain. Any time my elbow was bent for more than a few minutes I would have that funny bone pain and increased tingling. I couldnt even get the fork to my mouth some days. I dont have a comment about the surgery yet, I still have to much surgical site pain to say if it was worth while or not. Check out "Tinnels Sign", if simply putting pressure on this area recreates symptoms, then you know your nerve is inflammed or irritated in your elbow.

Good Luck with your MRI and EMG.

DX: CRPS/RSD full body, Fibro, CP, DDD, DJD, OSA, Syringomyelia, Arachnoiditis, failed fusion non union with hardware issues. Fusions C5-6, L5-S1. SCS trial successful awaiting placement after fusion revison 6/11.
MEDS:Fentanyl Patch 25 & 12.5 mcg, Fentora 100mcg, Oxyfast 10mg, Morphine Sulfate 15mg, AtacandHCT32/12.5mg, Clonidine, Zofran.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 2184
   Posted 2/18/2016 5:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Vyacheslav. Welcome. You posted on a very old thread. Perhaps you should start a new one with your introduction. More folks might reply then.
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, wrist ganglionectomies/denervectomies/tenolysis, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cyst, whiplash, bursitis of hips, tendonitis, torus, 3rd degree shoulder separation, torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15310
   Posted 2/18/2016 7:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello & welcome to Healing Well. As Pitmom suggested, you will get a better response by posting new thread introducing yourself. This is a very old thread that you have posted on & some of the members are no longer active here at Healing Well. A lot of folks tend to not read these older threads when they are brought up.

I will lock this thread so no one else posts here. Thanks.
Moderator Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums
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